So my friend Space Cadet and I have been emailing back and forth this summer - it counts for points for the Summer Literacy Challenge, since it's writing. :) Here's what he wrote in a recent email:
i dont know if its true but i have been told that my dad isnt really my dad! i really hope its not true or my whole life would pretty much be a lie!
My response was pretty much....huh? So I replied:
What do you mean, your dad isn't really your dad? When and how did you hear this?
And he said:
my half brother told me about a week ago that when he was coming down from canada with dad that they were talking about how my brother and sister were his kids and that my mother had me with another man and he got custody. very wierd stuff so im like an orphen or somthing lol great
(Don't judge the spelling and grammar - he's very bright, I just don't think he's focused on conventions in this. Anyway.)
I don't really know what to say back. All of this was in conjunction with other stuff, things about what he's doing this summer and books he's reading and the like....but I think this is really important to him because he did bring it up. And honestly, I can't imagine how this could not be important to a fourteen year old who doesn't get along super well with his dad anyway and whose mom died several years ago.
I think he needs to talk to his dad about this and not just take his brother's word for it, because, let's be honest here, kids lie to siblings all the time to make them feel bad. Flip side, if it is true, I think he has a right to know that.
But. Right now, he has no support system around as the family just moved about 30 miles away from where Space Cadet grew up to a small town to move in with dad's girlfriend. He has no friends there, he has no extended family around (though he didn't here either), and he's not in school right now so he doesn't even have any school support like a counselor. And that's a pretty intense thing to learn at any age, let alone as an adolescent - I can't imagine getting through that without anyone to talk to.
So what do I say? Do I recommend he talk to his dad about it right now? Do I recommend he wait till school starts to talk to his dad so that he has a counselor he can access at that point? Do I do something else that I'm not even thinking of right now? Help!
(Image credit to Stefan Baudy)